What is Akathisia?
In its more severe form, akathisia is associated with severe dysphoria, "prominent depressive symptoms superimposed on manic psychosis" (Merck Manual definition). Accute akathisia involves the patient feeling very fidgety with a strong urge to repeatedly change body position (e.g., the sitting patient may constantly shift his position in a chair, or make constant rocking motions, or constantly cross and uncross his legs, or constantly swing his legs to-and-fro; the standing patient may constantly shift from one foot to the other foot, and he or she may even frantically pace about the room). The marked distress associated with akathisia can lead to impulsive suicide attempts. Akathisia is commonly associated with antipsychotic medications, as well as various antidepressants, including tricyclics and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Paxil.
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